Italian frontier patrols

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by michael pierzga, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    To bad the migrants thread was closed down. I frequently operate in the Ionian Sea. Ground Zero in the migrant crisis.

    Security is intense...nothing moves down there without scrutiny and interogation by the authories.

    The Italians operate small..perhaps 20meter....high speed coastal patrol craft. These craft are invisable on radar. I only spot them at night when one get right behind me, perhaps one mile astern, then slow down to shadow and identify me. When these craft drop off a plane and travel at 8 knots or so they create a large wake. This is how I spot them on the radar...i see thier wake...never the boat.

    Daiquiri might know...what are these boats? The design . Shipyard ?

    How do they a avoid radar ? All plastic ? Low profile ?
     
  2. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    My guess is that it was one of fast units of Guardia di Finanza (GdF). They are specialized in high-speed chasing of smugglers and have state-of-art powerboats painted in grey.
    Several classes of their vessels are derived form the offshore competition powerboats. They are made with advanced composites, with very sloped sides (especially towards the bow), and hence a very low radar profile. And they are 70+ knots beasts. Besides these, GdF also operates various cutting-edge powerboats confiscated to smugglers and transformed to military use.
    So, with all this variety of candidate vessels, I am unable to tell which was the one spotted by you. Or, better said, the one which has spotted and approached you. :)

    You can see some of their fleet here: http://www.altomareblu.com/nautica/gdif/motovedette-guardia-di-finanza/
    and here: https://tuttosulmare.wordpress.com/flotta-del-servizio-navale-della-guardia-di-finanza/
    I am pretty sure you won't have problems with the Italian language. ;)
     
  3. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Must be a physically demanding job. Every night smashing thru waves, pounding your kidneys and breaking your back .

    Interesting that even though I signal AIS and check in at every VTS control zone the authorities still chase me down and double check .
     
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  5. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Gives a good reason for those hydraulic and gas strut supported seats some high power RIBs' are using... so maybe bearable rather than truly back breaking...;)

    Definitely quite a serious bit of kit, those hulls, nice stepping and a lot of interesting 'playing' with those surfaces. Still I can remember the Police using fairly quick Lamborghinis on the roads back in the 80s'....bet they still do!.

    Had to check the proper meaning of Guardia Di Finanza - sort of equivalent of our UK Customs. The direct translation which one does mentally, just did not make sense.
     
  6. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Guardia di Finanza (or GdF, as abbreviated in Italy) literally means "Financial Guards". It is a pretty unique military corps which exists only in Italy, as far as I know.
    Their job can be described as a sum of what the American IRS, DEA and Customs do (just to give an idea), and hence have a broad range of investigative and policing capabilities - some typically military ones (like the said naval high-speed patrolling and engaging the smugglers).

    A small digression, to give a broader picture of why the Italian military and police corps are apparently so fragmented and organized the way they are:
    In Italy, three main law-enforcing corps (Carabinieri, State Police, Guardia di Finanza), plus a couple of other minor ones, have overlapping and comparable military and policing capabilities. It is a heritage of the post-WWII years of political instability. Back then, Italy was an explosive cold-war playground of USSR-backed and US-backed political factions. Plus there was a significant number of Mussolini's fascism followers, defeated on the battlefield but not in their minds. As a consequence of this, the society was ideologically deeply divided and fragmented.
    The equal-capability police and military corps were a consequence of this delicate situation. Each police corps had to keep an eye on the work of the other ones, in case someone had a bad idea to organize a military coup (which actually did almost happen in 1970).

    Though those days are long gone, the fragmentation of military and police corps is formally still there. But they are now acting in synergy under the control of a unified operative control center, and no more as antagonist forces.
     
  7. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    During a presentation on characterization of marine shock seats at last week's Powerboat Symposium in Annapolis, Michael Riley commented that seats used in high speed military boats need to deal with much more severe conditions than seats used in civilian boats.
     
  8. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Of course, but not only the seats but, above all, their anchorages to the deck.
     
  9. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Thank you for your explanation daiquiri, much appreciated. Here in the UK, the Customs (HMRC) are often assisted by the Royal Navy in matters of piracy and smuggling.

    Thanks David, for the comments on seats. I noted on some high speed military RIBs' the support and suspension systems being used by the manufacturers. At least you could get a good close look and ask about the ergonomics at one good Show. I'm not surprised that there is some serious work being undertaken in this area.

    BTW Tansl, aircraft seats and anchorages etc have to withstand 16G, though whether your body could is perhaps a different matter...;)
     
  10. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    A couple of years ago I met a guy who said he was in the "import-export" business in Montenegro and had the GdF as his Nr. 1 enemy.
    His solution to outrun them was a giant RIB powered by two V-8 engines and surface piercing props. With almost no radar reflection he could operate at speed in very shallow waters under the Italian coast where the GdF boats got stuck in the mud.
     
  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    A few years ago, motoring in a flat calm off the Montenegrin coast , I came across a slick of cigarettes....thousands of cartons of marlboro red cigarettes ...perhaps a mile long .
     
  12. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Possibly one of this guy's less fortunate ventures.
    He bought a 500.000 EUR holiday house less than a mile from here, but nobody was there for at least 3 years.
    Maybe he is still drying cigarettes.
     
  13. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    I'm wondering why the authorities don't use hovercraft.

    The Fin's have them (and other countries too).

    http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Finnish_Border_Guard
    [​IMG]
     
  14. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Three main problems associated with them:
    1) seakeeping
    2) maneuverability
    3) cost
    4) range
    Compared to conventional vessels seen previously, hovercraft are inferior in each of the above performance indicators.
    Besides that, Italian vessels do not have to engage ice-covered bays. ;)
     

  15. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    I guess you never saw the hilarious "Top gear" TV episode where the team discovered how hard it is to navigate with a vehicle having no contact with the surface it floats on.
     
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